The Capuchin Convent Chapel is widely considered a masterpiece of 20th-century religious architecture, or perhaps of any architecture. Like much of the work of Luis Barragán, it’s all about the interior. The convent, though, does not permit photography inside. For many architecture fans, the visit is a must.
Officially it’s the Capilla del convento de las Capuchinas Sacramentarias del Purísimo Corazón de María. The chapel re-opened in 1960. That was after seven years planning and building. Barragán himself paid for some of the project. Initially, it was a mere expansion and remodeling of an existing chapel. It turned out to be one of the architect’s most enigmatic works.
A courtyard reflection pool adorned with gardenias dates from prior to the Barragán intervention. The lattice work in the chapel altar area was completed by Mathias Goeritz. He also designed the stained-glass window. The convent collection also contains several works by artist and colorist Chucho Reyes. The interplay of light and shadow, especially in the morning, is unforgettable.
The Poor Clares
Although Barragán is very much in vogue, the Capuchin Convent Chapel is a private facility. Guests are reminded that it’s a place of worship and that it opens only at the discretion of the convent. Sister Maria Laurentia Longo found the Capuchin Poor Clares in Naples, Italy, in 1538. St Clare of Assisi founded an original Order of St. Claire in 1212. The sisters of the convent strive to follow the original ideals of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi.
Just a few blocks from the Delegation Esplanade, visits combine well with trips to multiple other points of interest in the Historic Center of Tlalpan.
Visits are by appointment only.
Telephone: 55 5573 2395
The chapel opens Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission is $200 pesos.